Last week Handy Patrick told me about the customer that was ready to purchase their demo Catana and instead last minute purchased the new Leopard 44. Patrick was suitably horrified not because he thinks the Leopard is a bad boat, more to the point he thinks the Catana is such a good boat, plus he missed out on a hot sale.
I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, “why did we buy a Catana and customer B didn’t? “What was the process and how did it go wrong for one and right for the other salesperson. There is no such thing as a perfect boat and we all have different desires but …
You know from my previous entries I thought most of the sales people were pretty crap at selling so just in case anyone is listening, here are my 10 tips on how to sell your boat to me or the average punter.
10 Hot Tips for Selling Your Boat to the Average Punter.
You can sell only if you yourself are convinced - If you are not sold on the boat in its complete glory, then I the buyer will know. Buyers want passion, commitment and your full attention. . Your lack of conviction will scream through and I will feel like you’re wasting my time.
Ask questions and understand me the buyer - This nearly made number one because questions are a salesman’s best friend. If you ask the right question you will find out the real reason people want to part with the cash. When you ask make sure you listen, don’t just run through your practiced sales script, then ask more questions from the answers.
Don’t fill in silences! If the buyer is quiet so are you. If you ask a question give me time, the long pauses are not a bad thing I’m thinking and considering your offer.
What’s Your Boat Going To Do Besides Sail – Sailing is only part of the sale sum, a boat is a dream maker, an escape, a get out of gaol card. Sell me all the benefits, tell me what I will get and become by owning your boat. For example this huge fridge will allow me to escape for days on end with plenty of cold gin and tonic and all those cupboards may be boring to you but plenty of sales have gone begging because you forgotten to talk about I will live actually live on this boat.
Be Clear and Direct & Know Your Boat: Know the facts, the details and everything in between and know how to tell me without confusion. Be ready to answer all my questions and if you don’t know something, just say so and that you will get back to me. Most buyers have a “bullshit detector” that works a treat and seller beware if you treat me the buyer like an idiotic moron.
Put Away Your Crap! – My pet hate is people who take photos of their boat or homes for that matter with crap and stuff everywhere. Clutter and mess is a sale killer so if in doubt, throw it out or store it well well away from the buyer. Have a look at any professional photo shoot of a boat there is very little on display and the cupboards and shelves are very minimal. I know we don’t live this way but we sell by this sword. The further you are away from the boat the better for me the buyer to see me behind the helm after having signed the contract. The second hand leopard we looked at was so full of stuff I was suffocating; I was trying to breathe not thinking about buying.
Be On The Same Page – this one is for companies that make you talk to certain agents because of where you live. When we were buying we had built up a nice relationship with the Qld rep only to be told we had to deal with the Victorian Rep. I was pissed off and annoyed, it gave me a reason to walk away so my decision became easier. If selling privately make sure you and your partner/s are agreed on price and approach throughout the entire process.
Don’t be Embarrassed to Sell the Price – Never be modest about your price, support it, sell and sell the benefits to me. Most buyers want to be sold to. If I think you’re wavering on a price my killer instinct will kick in quick and the new sport is what I can get your boat for, and then I probably won’t want to buy it. See point three and sell me the dream the price is just the cost I have to pay. (Warning On The Above Point – Know your market because often the first offer is the best and usually has wiggle up room in price.)
Give me Facts and Testimonials – Leopard lost the sale to me because they didn’t overcome the new front porch issue. Why do I want to be the crash test dummy for your product? Apparently there is a video showing coloured water being cleared away super quick but no one thought to put the evidence on the big screen. Introduce me to current customers who are happy and will tell me the truth. At the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show the best salesman was the Lightwave Boat Owner by a country mile!
My Objection is Your Invite To Sell – No boat is perfect they all compromise somehow. When I object this is your big chance to adapt and overcome. If you leave my objection unanswered it becomes a reason for me not to buy which is just as important as why I should buy in the sales process.
Follow Up, Follow Up and Follow Up! – Ignore me the buyer at your own peril. One operator at the boat show was too busy being friends with the sales team you forgot about me the buyer. End result was I went and brought elsewhere. You could have saved the day by phoning, sending me an email or card but you ignored me. If I make contact with you and you ignore me all bets are off. Take time to build relationship and understand me, and I will give you the Golden Ticket to sell to me.